• Gossen Metrawatt
  • Camille Bauer

PG002: Data Transmission from the Test Instrument to the PC

Problem: Data transmission from a test instrument to the PC via the RS 232 port doesn’t work.

Types of test instruments:

  • SECUTEST Series
  • PROFITEST 0100S (II) Series
  • Series C Testers
  • PROFITEST 204 Series
    (PROFITEST 204, MetraMachine 204/2,5, MetraMachine 429/5,4)

Possible causes of error:

– Interface cable
A 1:1 extension cable is required, i.e. all wires must be connected straight through. A null modem cable may not be used. In case of doubt, make sure that pins 2 and 3 are connected straight through – they may not be crossed.

– An incorrect COM port has been selected.
Make sure that the port used at the PC is the same as the port selected in the software. Test your setup using a different port.

– You don’t have a COM port at your PC.
Get an RS 232 – USB converter. Then install a virtual COM port to your PC. The software required to install the virtual port is included with the converter. After installation, you’ll be able to address a COM port in the PC program.

– The COM port is being used by another program.
Some programs automatically initialize and occupy the COM port as soon as the PC is started. The port is then no longer available for other programs. This problem occurs in particular with the following types of programs and devices:
– Programs for reading out digital cameras
– Programs for data synchronization with palmtops or pocket PCs
– All types of programming devices
– Deactivate these programs (icons appear in the system tray for active programs).
– If possible, configure these programs for connection to a USB port.
– Use another of your PC’s COM ports – expand the PC with additional ports if required.

– A modem or other device connected to another port is active.
If you use COM1 while a modem is active at COM3, data transmission may be interfered with, or may not function at all because, as a rule, COM1 and COM3 use the same interrupt (IRQ). Internal modems are generally connected to COM3. If this is the case, use COM2 for data transmission.

– The COM interface is not correctly configured.
Check your interface settings. The following settings must be used:
Baud rate: 9600
Data bits: 8
Parity: none
Stop bits: 1
Protocol: none
The following are usually used for COM1: address 03F8 and IRQ 4.
The following are usually used for COM2: address 02F8 and IRQ 3.
Determine whether or not the address and the IRQ conflict with those of other components included in your PC.
Check your settings in the control panel, as well as in the BIOS. They must be identical. Values which deviate from those specified above only work if they are identical in the BIOS and in the operating system, and if they don’t conflict with any other components.Komponenten kollidieren.

– When the test instrument is connected via the RS 232 cable, the keyboard or the mouse at the PC doesn’t work.
If this is the case, certain terminals at the PC’s RS 232 port have been used for other purposes. These terminals conflict with the connections in the test instrument. Immediately disconnect the cable between the PC and the test instrument – the PC or the test instrument might be damaged if left connected too long. A special cable must be fabricated for data transmission. Only pins 2, 3 and 5 may be connected in this cable. All other pins are left vacant.

– No data stored to memory.
Check to see whether or not any values have been stored to memory. Some software is incapable of determining that no data has been stored to memory.

– Special features included with the SECUTEST PSI
Measurements executed by the SECUTEST are saved to the SECUTEST PSI. Stored values can be displayed at the SECUTEST. If the menu for the SECUTEST PSI is activated, the interface to the PC is disabled and is switched to the SECUTEST. No data can be transmitted to the PC in this operating state. Remedy: Simply turn the rotary switch at the SECUTEST to another position, and the menu for the SECUTEST PSI is exited.
If the SECUTEST PSI is connected to the SECUTEST and the SECUTEST is plugged into an electrical outlet, data can be read out immediately.
If the SECUTEST PSI is not connected to the SECUTEST, or if the SECUTEST is not plugged into an electrical outlet, the PSI module must first be activated. Press and hold the yellow PRINT / MENU key on the SECUTEST PSI until the printer is briefly started up. Data transfer can then be started at the PC. However, don’t wait too long because the SECUTEST PSI is automatically deactivated after 10 seconds if it is not addressed by the PC. As a prerequisite, the batteries in the SECUTEST PSI must be adequately charged. If the LED at the SECUTEST PSI does not light up immediately after pressing the yellow key, the batteries will have to be replaced. Use type LR6 alkaline-manganese batteries.

– Special features included with the SECUTEST series
Data can only be saved to the SECUTEST if the database has been activated. A fee is charged for activation. If the database has not been activated, only the last measurement can be read out immediately after completion. In this case either “Test Passed” or “Test Failed” appears at the display. If the database has been activated, up to 99 measurements can be saved to memory. If an ID number is read in by means of a barcode before starting the test, it is saved to memory as well. No other entries can be saved to the database. If no ID number is entered, date and time of testing are entered instead. The ID number must then be entered or corrected at the PC. Reading out the internal database is only possible if the SECUTEST has been connected to an electrical outlet. Data can only be read out directly from the SECUTEST, and not via the SECUTEST PSI if one has been connected. In this case, data would be read out from the SECUTEST PSI.

– Special features included with the PROFITEST PSI series
Data can only be stored to the PROFITEST PSI, and not to the PROFITEST 0100 S (II) itself. Data can be read out of the PROFITEST PSI at any time, except during printing. If the red LED lights up continuously and doesn’t go out after 10 seconds, or if it doesn’t light up when accessed by the PC, press the reset button in the battery compartment. This does not result in deletion of stored data Data transmission may no longer be possible if the batteries are excessively depleted. You can check the battery level by pressing and holding the print key until paper is fed. If feeding is very slow, or if no feeding occurs at all, the batteries will have to be replaced. Use type LR6 alkaline-manganese batteries.

– Special features included with series C testers
These devices are equipped with an infrared interface only. You’ll need an IRDA0100S adapter with an RS 232 port in order to read out data. This adapter is plugged into the test instrument, and must be firmly pressed into the slot provided for this purpose. The test instrument must be switched on in order to read out data. Please note that the test instrument is switched off automatically if it isn’t accessed by the PC within the selected turn-off time. The most reliable option is to set T-ON to Continuous On>>>> in the setup menu.
Where notebooks are used, voltage at the RS 232 port may be too low to supply the IRDA0100S adapter with adequate supply power. If this is the case, an NA0100S power pack can be additionally connected to the IRDA0100S, thus assuring sufficient supply power.
Direct operation via an IRDA interface at a PC does not usually work, because the pure IRDA interface is only available for Windows 95. With all other operating systems, the “IRDA interface” is used for data transmission and is thus no longer available as a pure IRDA-COM interface.

– Special features included with the PROFITEST 204 series
Data can only be saved to the PROFITEST 204, and not to the SECUTEST PSI. The SECUTEST PSI is only used for entering information and printing reports. In order to read out data, the RS 232 cable must be connected directly to the PROFITEST 204, and if a SECUTEST PSI has been connected it must first be removed. In order to read out data, the PROFITEST 204 must be connected to an electrical outlet.
In order to read out data with WinProfi or PS3, the PROFITEST 204 only needs to be switched on, but the selector switch can be in any position. Data transmission may not be started from the PROFITEST 204, but rather via WinProfi or PS3. In order to read out data with Pcdoc-win, PcAccess or Pcbase, the PROFITEST 204 must be set to “Card Box” and the data transmission menu function must be selected. Start data transmission with the PC program and follow the instructions displayed at the screen in exactly the order in which they appear. Even for small quantities of data, transmission takes from one to three minutes. If data transmission fails, switch the PROFITEST 204 off briefly, because the RS 232 port at the PROFITEST 204 is otherwise blocked.

Dialogue, Information and Actions: